Howland, Smith at Pac-10 Media Day

On going 14-18 last season:
“It was definitely difficult. The previous four years we had a real
nice run there. To have a losing season like we did last year was
very difficult. But that’s in the rear view mirror now, we’re moving
forward and excited about this years team. I’m excited about our
young group. We’re very young, don’t have a senior in the program.
“We’ve got a lot of youth but a lot of exuberance and enthusiasm.”

Joshua Smith on where the team goes from here:
“I see us headed in the right direction. In the summer, a lot of the
guys, we put in a lot of work. A lot of us got extra shots, been
working on getting stronger, leaner, faster.”

On the Wears
“Our practices are much better having David and Travis Wear. They’re
both going to be very good players for us in the future. It’s tough
to see them every day and see how good they are and realize we cant
have them right away.”

On the conference race:
“With Washington, everybody is coming back with the exception of
Pondexter. You have to look at them. They have a lot coming back.
Arizona is a very talented team with the bulk of their team coming
back. After those two, it could be anybody else. But that’s why they
play the game. Should be a very exciting Pac-10 season this year. On
a given night, in our conference, anybody can beat anybody. That’s
what makes a conference special.”

On the point guards following four NBA point guards:
Would it be fair to put those expectations on our point guards now? I
can’t say that. But I’m excited about their future.”

On playing zone defense:
“It’s going to take quite a while because we’re so young. We’re
having players learn things for the first time. We did play zone last
year, and it retarded the growth of a couple of the returning
players. We are really committed to playing man, it’s something we’re
working on every day. Tyler Lamb, for example, is one of our best
defenders coming in as a freshman on the perimeter.
“I like our group there, and the ability to pressure the ball.”

On Honeycutt’s growth:
“Tyler is a much better shooter than he was. He really worked on his
shot all spring, all summer long. He would go into the gym, late in
the evening into the early morning shooting. He’s developed a lot of
confidence too. We need Tyler to score more for us this year. He’s
going to need to look to be more aggressive.”

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